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DR. ERGUN MEHMET CANER

What is your background?
Why are you not darker, and why is is your accent not more pronounced?
How do we pronounce your name?
Why are you on so many television shows?
What is your "Ministry" name?


[Booking]
Why do you use a booking questionnaire?
Why do you not post your upcoming schedule of speaking?
How do you filter through requests and select dates at which to speak?
Do you do "protracted meetings" like revivals?
Why do you say that you will eventually stop speaking?
Why do you say that you are not a preacher or a pastor?
How much do you charge?
At what types of events do you speak?
Why do you and your brother refer each other on occasion?
What is the problem with publicizing your speaking as a "Former Muslim?"

[On Events]
Why do you often "Fly-in and Fly-out?"
Do you like to "speak and then disappear?"
What about BOOK SIGNINGS?
Why should we provide someone to take the money at the book signing?
Can we line up interviews in the local media while you are here?
How do we take care of you while you are here?
Why don’t you usually give the invitation at the end of your speech?
Can our people contact you AFTER the event?
How do we get started?


1.What is your background? top

I am Turkish, and an immigrant. I came to this country as the oldest son of an Islamic leader, who came here to build Mosques. I became a Christian in the early 80's, and was of course disowned by my family. I am a Persian, many generations back.

2. Why are you not darker, and why is is your accent not more pronounced? top

These are two of my favorite questions. Like I said, I am Turkish- and to many Muslims, that makes me a half-breed. Turks are Persians (neighboring Iraq to the southeast) and European. We darken in the summer, and lighten in the winter. Add this to the fact that we have a horrible human rights record (fighting Greeks, Kurds, Cossacks, Cypriotes, Iraqis, Americans, etc.) and you can see why we are hated by many! As for my accent, speak to my wife and those who have me speak at evening events. I work very hard to speak understandably, and with clear diction. The problem is, English is neither my first nor my second language. Sometimes it is really a struggle.

3. How do we pronounce your name? top

The Turkish is almost unpronounceable, so here is an equivalent: Ergun ("Air-gun") Mehmet ("Mehhh-met") Caner ("Can-er"). It is not "CANE-er, with a long "A."

4. Why are you on so many television shows? top

Recently my brother (Dr. Emir Fethi Caner, professor at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, NC) and I were called the “leading evangelical voices on world religions, culture, and the Islamic conflict” on a national show. Certainly this is not the case. There are many far more educated and erudite men and women out there. However, since Emir and I both have our doctorates, and since we understand both sides of the present conflicts from our background as former Sunni Muslims, and our books have sold so well, we have found ourselves regularly in the national spotlight. It also helps that I have Dr. Falwell’s studios, from which we can uplink and do the shows with little trouble.

5. What is your "Ministry" name? top

I do not have one, nor do I think I ever will! I do not have a "ministry office;" I work out of my basement. I do not have a secretary; My wife is my boss. I am a happily submitted husband. Our overhead and budgets come from our mission work, going into countries where my language skills allow me to speak to various groups, and speaking in places that do not offer honorariums, such as prisons, mission groups, Arabic language fellowships, etc. I have done the same pro bono ministries (no money) for years, and speaking in other places allows me to continue this.

FAQ’S ON BOOKING

6. Why do you use a booking questionnaire? top

Over the past twenty-two years, I have spoken at thousands of churches, conferences and events. I have discovered that this is the easiest way for both the event coordinator and I to see if I am a “good fit” for the event. Since I use humor as well as serious materials, I am certainly not everyone’s "cup of tea." Though we have never had any catastrophic meltdowns, there have been times where I felt it would have been better if we were all on the same page.

7. Why do you not post your upcoming schedule of speaking? top

Security reasons. Since 2001, Muslims have come to my events consistently, and not for reasons of dialogue! They come to disrupt, or worse. The horror stories are too numerous to mention. In Cape Girardeau, MO, Sacramento, CA, Springdale, ARK, Nashville, TN and other locations, they have shouted, protested, marched and generally disrupted the proceedings. Now, I am prepared for these eventualities, but I do not think your members are. Also, I am a husband and a father, and my family comes first.

8. How do you filter through requests and select dates at which to speak? top

I could give you the spiritual answer and say I pray over each one of them. In fact, I do. However, quite frankly, I would want to speak at every event and service to which I am invited! For half of my life, I have spoken in churches concerning my people, and for most of that period of time, people would pat me on the head and say, “Isn’t that interesting.” Subsequent to the events of 2001, Americans are listening. So, the process is a bit more difficult. My family comes first after God, and then my vocation. I am a full-time professor at Liberty University. That means I teach a full load of classes, in addition to grading, meetings, etc. Thus, I cannot take any event that conflicts with my teaching schedule. There are a limited number of dates, with the family and the professorship. I want to use the limited number of dates I do have to ensure that my work goes as far as possible.

9. Do you do "protracted meetings" like revivals? top

Very rarely. I cannot, because my teaching schedule precludes it. I usually do one-day events.

10. Why do you say that you will eventually stop speaking? top

Well, as I often note, I am not a preacher or a pastor. Speaking in front of groups is not one of the easiest things I do! I am primarily a professor and and an author. Eventually, I will settle into writing full time, and doing the commentary in the media. In the past years, I have been honored to do hundreds of interviews in radio, television and print, and I find that an effective method of presenting the evangelical position to our culture. Also, I am a wreck before I speak! I have to get quiet time before I speak, I cannot eat before I speak, etc. To put it simply, speaking is not something I do easily, nor do I believe it is something with which I am gifted. I work very hard to make what I say sound spontaneous. Every time I speak, I need an extra measure of grace to get through it, regardless of the crowd.

11. Why do you say that you are not a preacher or a pastor? top

I believe being a pastor and a preacher are the highest callings of God. I respect pastors and ministers tremendously, and consider them the unsung heroes of the faith. In addition, I was a pastor for sixteen years...and a poor one. That is not to say that the churches did not grow- they did. However, I did not and do not have the Shepherd’s heart. If you wanted to torture me, put me in a business meeting or committee meeting. Force me to sit through endless reports. Being a pastor and a minister is the hardest calling, and a supernatural one. I am happiest in my study, with my family, or in the classroom.

12. How much do you charge? top

I have very limited time and dates to do speaking. I am a full time professor, and my responsibility to my students at Liberty University precludes my taking every event I want to take. Most importantly, I am a husband and a father, and that is my highest priority. We do have a budget we have to meet, and we support work in my homeland and Islamic nations. I teach and train- that is my driving passion. You do not “pay me” to do that. I would pour myself into that work if only my wife were listening! You pay me to be apart from my family. With two young sons who are the light of my eyes and a wife I truly do not deserve, I have a responsibility to use my time wisely. When you fill out the booking form, I will send a “Speaker’s Contract” with all the details. I cannot confirm a date until this contract is e-mailed back to us.


13. At what types of events do you speak? top

Every kind under the sun. I speak to corporate events concerning doing business in Persian and Arabic countries. I speak at media gatherings concerning reporting on the present conflicts. I also speak at various conventions and denominations, and have addressed professional sports teams in their pre-game chapels. Since 1989, I have also spoken at countless youth events and world apologetics conferences. All told, I have spoken in over 40 denominations, in fifteen countries, 43 states, 124 national and state meetings and to somewhere around 750,000 people.


14. Why do you and your brother refer each other on occasion? top

If it is impossible for us to speak at an event, we often ask the organizer to check with the other Caner. Since we are brothers, and we have written eight books together, obviously we have much in common. Our personal stories are the same, and our speaking style is very similar. That is why I tell people to contact Emir (www.emircaner.com and emir@emircaner.com) if I am unable to meet a date, and he does the same.


15. What is the problem with publicizing your speaking as a “Former Muslim?” top

This is one of the major problems with which we deal. I often say, “I can speak to Muslims about Christ, or I can speak to Christians about Islam, but I cannot do both at the same time.” If you advertise “former Muslim coming!” or “Unveiling Islam this Friday!” then I guarantee you, Muslims will come, and they will not be happy. Interestingly, in recent days I have been protested by anti-war people, after my brother and I came out in favor of the U.S. missions in Afghanistan and Iraq. In short, unless you want protestors and disruptions, just advertise me as an author or professor or television commentator.

FAQ’S ON THE EVENT ITSELF


16. Why do you often “Fly-in and Fly-out?” top

This is purely a scheduling issue. In order to accommodate that various events, sometimes I have to schedule the latest flight in and earliest flight out.

17. Do you like to “speak and then disappear?” top

No! I want to greet people before and after the event if at all possible. This also includes the protestors, by the way. Many of them are “professional protestors,” and travel the country with their signs, such as the peaceniks. I like them to know we have nothing to fear from them.

18. What about BOOK SIGNINGS? top

This is one of my favorite ways to meet people as well. Simply call my publisher, Kregel, at 800-733-2607, and ask for shipping. They will ship my LATEST books (at the current time that is CHRISTIAN JIHAD and VOICES BEHIND THE VEIL) invoiced, no money up front, and at the Author Signing discount. Then you simply set up the table, supply a person to handle the money, and I will sign the books. Afterward, you ship the unsold books back, along with the invoiced money for the books sold, and use the profits for whatever ministry you wish. It is one way I can also give BACK to you. We usually sign between 150-200 books a session.

19. Why should we provide someone to take the money at the book signing? top

Because I hate handling money, and do not trust anyone who sells his books and keeps the funds.

20. Can we line up interviews in the local media while you are here? top

Yes. Simply contact your media outlet, and then contact our agent, Wes Yoder at 615.370.4700. He is my agent at Ambassador Agency in Nashville.

21. How do we take care of you while you are here? top

I am the lowest-maintenance person you will ever meet. Obviously, these days it is most prudent to put me in a hotel. Other than that, all I need is a contact person. You do not need to take me out to eat or anything like that. I have plenty to keep me busy. Make sure I have the contact person’s cell phone number, and if they are picking me up at the airport, just have them meet me at baggage claim with a small sign.

22. Why don’t you usually give the invitation at the end of your speech? top

Because I believe in pastoral authority. I am a local church guy. When I am speaking at the local church, I believe the shepherd knows the sheep better than I do. In addition, I have seen too many speakers ruin the service. Speaking in as many denominations as I do, I also respect your traditions, and do not want to break any protocols you have.

23. Can our people contact you AFTER the event? top

Yes, of course. Often people do not get the opportunity to ask me prolonged or detailed questions while I am there. Simply let your people know my web site, and then can write me through the contact on the site. Then, my “ministry team” will answer back. My ministry team, of course, is my wife and I...

24. How do we get started?

Simply fill out the online booking form, and make sure to include the dates involved. You can also contact my scheduling assistant, Juan Dugan, at
juan@erguncaner.com.


DISCLOSURE: CONFIRMING AN EVENT IS AN AGREEMENT TO THE FAQS HEREIN PRESENTED.





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